5 quick tips to help you to start onsite drug & alcohol testing in your workplace

There are many advantages to doing your drug and alcohol screening in house as it can save your company a lot of time and money. Staff do not need to attend a testing centre which keeps costs down and time away from work to a minimum.

Here are 5 quick tips to help you get started

  • Be prepared-make sure that you have everything in place before you begin. It is advisable to have a drug and alcohol policy for your workplace, in place before you start testing. You will also need consent forms, onsite drug testing kits, and ideally a lab chain of custody confirmation drug test pack.
  • Make sure you have a clear protocol to work to and decide who is going to do the testing, and that you have a clear management plan for any non negative results.
  • You will only need to confirm non negative results
  • Make sure that you have the ability to confirm any non negative results obtained with onsite drug testing kits with a laboratory chain of custody confirmation test. Best to have at least one of these onsite when you begin testing.
  • Keep clear records of all results & ideally have everything witnessed

UK Drug Testing is one of the longest established drug and alcohol testing companies in the UK and are a leading supplier of drug and alcohol testing kits to businesses and employers.

Visit UK Drug Testing for more information on starting drug and alcohol testing in the workplace or telephone us on 01263 731 168 during office hours Monday to Friday 8.30 to 4pm

Saliva drug testing kit DSD-863-ideal workplace drug testing kit

drug testing kits saliva

DSD-863 Direct saliva drug testing kit

Introducing the DSD-863 Direct Saliva 6 drug testing kit the quickest and easiest to use oral drug test kit on the market currently in the UK.

This new drug test kits makes workplace drug testing simple and quick, with no sample handling. You simply put the saliva tongue collector into the mouth of the person that is being tested, and the drug test runs as soon as sufficient saliva has been absorbed. This feature is likely to make this new drug test kit very popular for employment and pre-employment drug testing and screening.

The DSD 863 detects the following drugs:

Cannabis 12ng (Marijuana, hash, scunk)
Amphetamine 50ng (speed, whiz)
Opiates 20ng (heroin, brown, morphine)
Cocaine 20ng (cocaine, crack)
Methamphetamine 50ng (crystal Ice)
Benzodiazepines 30ng (sleepers , tranqs)

Workplace drug testing-Getting it right for your business.

 

workplace drug testing kits companies

Workplace drug testing kits

Workplace drug testing is commonplace and growing. More and more companies are facing the real problem of dealing with employees with drug and alcohol problems. Proactive employers are introducing drug and alcohol screening programs to reduce their risk, improve safety in their workplace environments, and to make it apparent to all employees that working under the influence of drugs is not acceptable.

So with such a large problem in the UK why is it not possible to find clear guidance on how to set up a program of drug screening within a workplace ? The simple answer is that no government body or the HSE or other employment agency have a responsibility to oversee the introduction or operation of drug screening. Clear guidance on how to test and what to test for will almost certainly not cover all the possible scenarios experienced in business across the UK, so none exists.

Getting it right for UK Business’s

So here is some starting guidance to base a simple workplace drug testing program on which will keep your testing program within best practice expectations and keep you protected right through to tribunal hearings and disciplinary proceedings.

  • Make it fair. This means random drug screening must be just that. A random cohort across the entire workforce and sampled regularly.
  • Check your terms of employment contracts. If they don’t include a section on your right to request samples for drug and alcohol testing, then any request you make can be declined by the employee.
  • Talk to the workforce and give fair notice of when drug testing will start.
  • Drug misuse should be handled no differently from any other disciplinary matter with full documentation. Best practice would also incorporate support of the employee to seek treatment for the misuse of illicit drugs.
  • Post incident drug screening, is again dependent on ability to drug test employment contract, without this it becomes voluntary.
  • Follow a written procedure for drug screening, witnessed and signed by the donor, with all results carefully documented.

What drugs should be tested for ?

There are no right and wrong drugs to test for. Local issues should be considered. Your local drug team or police liaison officer are ideal contacts to advise on what drugs are a particular problem. Most suppliers will also have a good idea of suitable drug test combination tests for your workforce, so ask their advice. Your demographic should also be considered. If you are testing 50-60 year olds Benzodiazepines may be of interest. If your donors are 18-24 year old party organisers, then Ketamine may be a better choice. Give your test kit supplier good information on who you intend to test, they will recommend suitable test combination kits.

The base drugs which should always be included are

THC Cannabis, Marijuana, Skunk etc..

MOP / OPI Opiates, Heroin.

COC Cocaine, Crack, Charlie.

AMP Amphetamine, speed, whiz

Add to these MTD, methadone, MET Methamphetamine, BZO, Benzodiazepines, and any other local issues which are appropriate.

Most workplace drug testing is performed using a 6 or 7 panel drug testing kit, most incorporated into a collection and storage cup, but you can go as far as a 10 or even a 12-14 drug screen.

POCT Point of care testing

Tests that you run on site, giving immediate positive or negative results are often referred to as POCT’s. These are saliva or urine drug testing kits which screen for drugs and their metabolites in the body fluid added to test membranes in the kits. Both saliva and urine drug test kits are suitable for workplace screening. The accuracy of both is almost identical. Saliva has one major advantage, directly observed sample collection.

All negative screens can be completed in under 10 minutes. These kits are easy to use and have 97-99% accuracy when compared to laboratory tests.

Non Negative POCT results

Workplace testing must move to immediate laboratory confirmation of all non negative POCT results. This is evidential testing, certified to have been conducted using a full workplace chain of custody procedure, and the sample will be tested to UK accredited standards and certified by the receiving lab. The procedure is considered gold standard practice and results will be accepted into employment tribunal hearings if required. Workplace back to lab confirmation chain of custody packs are available from UKDrugTesting and should be purchased at the same time as POCT’s so that they are immediately available on site when you get that first non negative result.

Using an accredited confirmation pack is critical to keeping workplace testing compliant with employment law and defending your actions in tribunal and employment challenges.

Expect a non negative rate of between 4 and 6% as a guide when purchasing.

Pre-employment drug screening

Drug screening potential employees is different from testing an existing employee. Without an employment contract, the decision to test a potential employee rarely has to be justified or defended. Confirmation testing of non negative drug screens is rarely completed unless the offer of employment has been made subject to a medical.

Who can conduct POCT drug screening ?

Any one who is competent to follow a simple procedure is the simple answer. There is no medical training or pseudo medical training requirement. Competence in the procedure and familiarity with the testing kit should be achieved before considering employee testing. Professional packs of POCT’s all come with a detailed manufacturers data sheet and procedure. Additional training is available from the supplier and full drug awareness and drug screening procedure’s and product training is available as a package to employers. Most products also have online product demonstration video training which can be accessed at any time, free of charge, and demonstrate very precisely how to run the POCT kits.

Talk to a UK expert

Need further advise or guidance on which POCT kits are best suited to your workplace environment. We supply some of the UK’s largest and smallest business’s and have a team of experts able to give guidance during UK office hours on 01263 731 168

We also stock the UK’s largest range of onsite drug testing kits combination’s,  all warehoused for next working day delivery. We know one size doesn’t fit all, so we also have the ability to manufacture bespoke combination drug tests to meet your requirements, at the lowest cost. And yes we will match or better your existing suppliers price. Guaranteed.

Using drug testing kits in the workplace pros and cons

Drug Testing Kits Workplace

Workplace drug testing kits UK

The decision to start testing for drugs and alcohol can often be forced upon an employer, faced with an employee crisis, or incident, which brings the problem to light and forces a response or reaction.

It’s easy to get the response wrong. Not knowing how to investigate suspected drugs and alcohol issues is a very common problem, especially for small business owners. The introduction of roadside drug and alcohol testing in the UK has also highlighted the consequences of drug misuse to a wider range of employers, including taxi and private hire fleet owners.

Providing access to suitable screening and testing kits with next working day delivery is where UKDrugTesting specialise. We can offer a comprehensive range of either Oral Fluid / Saliva or Urine drug testing kits in a range of combinations to offer a test for most suspected drug types. These can also be supported with UK accredited Laboratory confirmation testing of all positive onsite test results using a full Chain of Custody sampling pack to provide an evidential, certified confirmation result for use in employment tribunals and disputes.

Can you ask for an employee drug test ?

Yes. Employers in the UK can always request an employee to volunteer a sample for drug testing. Requests must be fair and if the drug test is part of a random drug testing program, the request must be seen to be evenly spread throughout the workplace and not targeted to discriminate against an individual. If the contract of employment does not include provision for drug and alcohol testing as a routine element (requirement) of employment, the employee can decline to be tested.

Targeted testing following a crisis or incident

Again the above rules still apply, so reference to the employment contract is again required. If there is strong suspicion that the employee is under the influence of drugs and / or alcohol but refuses to cooperate with a drug test, the employer must exercise their duty of care to ensure the safety of the employee and their work colleagues. Document all the facts and ideally take witness statements to support your actions.

Workplace drug testing kits

Workplace Drug Testing UK-consent and refusal

Saliva Drug Screening

Saliva Drug Screening

Employers in the UK need consent to undertake a drug test. This simple concept is complicated however by the fact that tribunals would normally expect employees to reasonably give their consent to undergo drug testing. In simple terms an employee must have good grounds to refuse a drug and alcohol test, be confident that the employer has requested the test irresponsibly or has been un-fair.

Because most employees are normally expected to reasonably give consent for drug & alcohol testing, they should seek professional advise from their union or line manager before refusing to give a test sample. However, pre-consent is often implicit in many contracts of employment. i.e. the contract will include  a clause agreement between the employee and employer agreeing drug and alcohol screening during the period of employment.

Employers have a responsibility:

  1. To only drug test where it is appropriate.
  2. Be fair in the implementation of the drug testing procedure,
  3. Operate testing in a fully random fashion and not to single out particular employees for drug and alcohol testing unless this is justified by the nature of their jobs or their actions.

Workplace drug and alcohol testing is far more common in safety critical employment roles, and testing frequencies may reasonably be far more frequent. There is no guidance in UK law regarding the frequency of random testing for specific employment roles.

Employees can not be forced or made to take a drug or alcohol test, but if they refuse when the employer has good grounds to request a test, and has acted fairly and responsibly, they the employer can take disciplinary action.

Employers have a legal responsibility to ensure a safe workplace. This includes ensuring that no employee is undertaking employment under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Most employers in the UK use a saliva or oral fluid drug test kit as a first line drug screening test with instant on-site results. This is considered the best first line drug test kit option as it is minimally non invasive, easy and safe to collect in front of the individual being tested, with observed sample collection. A six panel drug screen such as the FirstSign saliva drug test kit is an ideal UK combination drug test for UK workplace screening.

Visit UKDrugTesting.co.uk for more information and to buy drug and alcohol testing kits suitable for workplace drug & alcohol screening

Drug Testing In The Workplace In The UK

Drug testing in the workplace is now well established in most larger UK companies and has expanded rapidly in UK SME’s. Workplace drug testing benefits companies, reducing risk, and demonstrates an understanding of the health and employment risks of ignoring employees attending the workplace, under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

Many large companies understand the benefits of immediate on-site drug & alcohol screening, and undertake this in house with point of care onsite drug testing kits. this also offers enormous cost benefits with instant drug testing kits such as the FirstSign 6 drug saliva drug testing kit costing as little as £6 per test.

In house screening for drugs is simple to do, responsive and 100% adequate to exclude all negative test results. Companies considering workplace drug testing for the first time are sometimes anxious that an in-house solution will not be adequate legally and be messy and difficult to operate. Workplace drug testing kits have been designed to be easy to use and accurate. They are used internationally by some of the worlds largest companies as front line employee drug screening tests, excluding millions of negative screens from expensive and slow laboratory drug testing.

Pre-employment drug testing, random workplace drug testing, targeted on-suspicion workplace drug testing, and any other targeted role specific (high employment risk) employee drug screening, and post incident or accident workplace drug screening, are all suitable for on-site point of care workplace drug testing kits such as the InstAlert DSD-765 oral saliva drug testing kit or UKDrugtesting’s DSW-765 drug testing kits for saliva.

Click here to see a range of onsite instant drug testing kits suitable for employee drug testing in the workplace from UKDrugTesting

The saliva drug testing kits above each offer a slightly different combination of 6 drug groups. There is no specified group or combination of drugs which has to be covered by UK law or HSE recommendation, It is left to the Employer to consider the local common risk hazards and the demographic of the workforce and pick a combination which covers these drugs. The six drug combinations all include the common recreational drugs, and are all suitable for employment workplace drug testing.

Click here for more information about how to purchase drug testing kits for use in the workplace

 

Business Drug Testing Kits-Advice for business drug screening in the workplace

workplace drug testing

Business drug and alcohol testing is growing, and now forms an important element of general health screening for job applicants, accross a wide spectrum of industry. The growth in drug use has seen more and more employers addressing the issues of drug misuse, dependency and social recreational use creeping into the workplace and employee productivity and safety. Pre-employment drug screening has seen the greatest growth in recent years, and now extends far beyond the safety critical employment roles.

Employers are perfectly at liberty to request applicants provide a drug screen sample as part of any job application. Prospective employees may decline. There is no current UK legislation preventing an employer from excluding a candidate on the basis that they have refused to provide a sample for drug screening as part of the companies routine pre-employment screening. As long as the drug screening is routine, this does not currently constitute discrimination of any kind. Indeed companies can argue that they hold a duty of care to ensure no employee undertakes duties while under the influence of drugs or alcohol which may make both them and their environment unsafe for themselves and fellow workers. The last argument is much stronger where the employment role includes safety critical duties.

Pre-employment drug testing is therefore one of the most easy and common programmes of drug screening to implement and operate. We are often asked by companies what is the most common package of drugs, or minimum range of drugs which is expected in a drug screening program. The answer is not always straight forward, as some consideration should be given to the target demographic and also local drug availability and usage patterns. As a base guide we would recommend a baseline of 5 or 6 drug groups, to which other local or industry specific additional can be made. FOR UK EMPLOYMENT DRUG TESTING we would recommend the screen cover  Cannabis, Cocaine, Opiates, Methamphetamine & Amphetamine +/- Benzodiazepines For most screening a 5 panel drug test kits is the best option for urine drug testing and if saliva drug testing is preferred then a 6 drug saliva testing kit for Cannabis, Cocaine, opiates, Amphetamine, Methamphetamine and PCP is a great option. A wide range of urine and saliva drug test kits are currently available.

Buyers should ensure that packs are from a reputable specialist supplier, offering full technical support and cross reference data for the kits. All drug screening kits should be properly branded CE marked professional packs with original data sheet and both CE mark, manufacturers data and EU representative details for the CE quality mark (CE mark alone is not good enough) the product you buy should be healthcare standard class1 biotech imported as an IVDD (In Vitro Diagnostic Device) and stored correctly by the distributor. Ensure the supplier has over 10 years experience of drug screening biotechnology and has medically trained staff with clinical experience of drug screening available to advise you as part of the service.

Visit UK Drug Testing to see our current recommended drug testing kits for companies to perform workplace drug testing

E-Z collection cup urine drug tests

E-Z drug test cups have been available for many years and have proved popular with both the drug treatment agencies and also with business users who wish to perform urine drug testing in the workplace.

The integrated urine collection and storage cup with built in drug test panel offers easy sample collection, and spill free storage and handling.

The urine drug test panel gives immediate on-site results to NIDA cut off levels for up to 10 drug groups.

Negative urine samples can be disgarded, while any positive urine samples can be retained, sealed with tamper proof seals (provided in all professional 25 test packs) and sent for laboratory comfirmation.

The E-Z urine drug test cup is available in a range of urine drug test combination from 5 to 10 drug groups depending on the requirments of the end user from www.ukdrugtesting.co.uk

The EZ collection cup system offers an ideal urine drug test system where facilities for sample collection and processing may be limited. The Instalert professional standard urine drug test membrane supplied as standard offers high accuracy and detection rates to CE EU IVDD standards, and is considered one of the best near patient urine drug screening products available.

Drug testing at work

Drug testing at work is now routine for thousands of safety critical workers. Employment contracts have evolved to enable employers to routinely screen for drugs pre-employment candidates, after workplace accidents and incidents, and on a random basis.

Drug testing at work has become more commonplace as rates of social drug and alcohol use have increased. Increasing social drug use is recognised to impact negatively on workplace productivity and safety. Increasing awareness of employers duty of care withing the workplace with the need to ensure a safe working environment at all times justifies indentifying employers attending the workplace under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.

Where the safety argument works for train drivers and fork lift truck operative, the productivity argument increasingly works for all other employees and increasingly managers at all levels.

 Drug and alcohol testing at work kits

More information and advice regarding choosing drug and alcohol testing kits for the workplace

Saliva Drug Tests and Employment Drug Screening

Employment and pre-employment drug screening is again in the news, and despite the economic doom and gloom companies are still investing in careful drugs screening to ensure the right employees are taken on.

Most companies embarking on drug and alcohol screening do not have the facility of an in house occupational health or HR department to oversee the program. This makes picking the right tools for the job even more essential.

Managers need to understand the differences between urine drug testing kits and saliva drug test kits, look carefully at the drug groups covered by the drug testing kit and the manufaturers guide & detection times for each drug type. These vary enormously.

Saliva drug testing kits  offer the enormous advantage of easy sample collection, with high confidence levels that you are testing a fresh sample, from the person you intend to screen. Urine collection is obviously harder to oversee.

A range of saliva drug tests are available in the UK. Ensure the drug testing product carries a professional CE mark and also lists the European representative for the registration mark. Follow the manufacturers instructions for use and also refer to the accuracy studies which should be listed in the data sheet provided with all professional drug test drug testing packs. Products sold as home or self tests, or just not listed as professional, may be from the same manufacturer but do not have to meet the same regulatory and EU compliance tests. Check with the supplier if these drug test products are as good before purchasing.

Our suggested first line saliva drug test products for business